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Thinking of putting my money where my malocclusion is...

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:56 pm
by millstone
Hi All

I am new to this forum. I recently had an initial consult with my ortho - I have an underbite - class III malocclusion. The recomendation at this stage is maxillary advancement and mandibular set back.

I am working through 2 issues at the moment:

1. I am concerned that my post surgery appearance will be dramatically different. I do think my jaw is too protruding at the moment and I am desparate to attain a proper bite, but I still want to be somewhat recognisable post op! I am trying to convince myself and family that the change will not be too dramatic.

2. The surgery scares me. It looks especially brutal and it seems that there is a fair risk of permanent nerve damage.


I am encouraged by the fact that of all the blogs and discussion threads I have seen to date, I am yet to come across someone who has regretted the procedure. The cynic in me fears that those who are disgruntled may not bother to post...

Any of you have regrets? Any other words of wisdom?

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:59 pm
by HokieTay
1. I know two people who had their jaws corrected for an underbite. They both do not look dramatically different, but they do look remarkably better. They look great and I know they don't regret it.

2. People are more likely to vent, post, complain when things go WRONG. Usually it's easy to find bad reviews for things. So the fact that there are a lot of good reviews and opinions on the surgery speaks volumes. I too haven't heard of anyone regretting it.

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:05 pm
by millstone
thanks hokietay
v. helpful

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:47 pm
by ohmyjaw
Hi millstone,

The change in appearance will partly depend on how much movement you need. I found that mine did not change much - it's essentially the same face, but with improved proportions (ie. my chin is slightly less prominent). But no drastic changes for me (and I certainly didn't want any, either). Although, my underbite was pretty mild, so if yours is bigger, you may be looking at a bigger change.

As for the surgery, experiences can vary. I think I have a pretty low pain tolerance, and I found it uncomfortable but manageable with painkillers. There is usually a hospital stay of anywhere from 1 to 4 days, and about two weeks of recovery time at home before you can go back to your normal activities. I do not know if this surgery is any easier/harder than other procedures, because this is the only surgery I have ever had. I do have permanent nerve damage - there is a small area on my chin that is numb. This can happen in about 15% of patients, I am told. Other complications are possible, but rare.

My words of wisdom: get all the information you can, ask lots of questions, and get second opinions if you feel its necessary. Be prepared for friends and family members to question what you're dong - a lot of people have misconceptions about jaw surgery and you may need to educate them. Also, many people find that the anticipation of surgery is worse thant he surgery itself.

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:51 pm
by millstone
thanks ohmyjaw

So are you pleased with your result? Any regrets - notwithstanding the small amount of nerve damage?